MC Sports files Chapter 11 bankruptcy

Company to begin liquidation while reorganizing

MARQUETTE — The MC Sports store in the Westwood Mall is one of 68 stores in the sporting goods chain impacted after the business filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

The Grand Rapids-based company announced Tuesday that as part of an ongoing process to restructure the company, it has begun voluntary reorganization proceedings under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Code.

Management at the Marquette Township store, located at 3020 U.S. 41, declined to comment.

“After a valiant and concerted effort by MC Sports’ associates, vendors, landlords and outside professionals to restructure the company’s balance sheet and operating performance, the company was unable to reach an agreement on a viable out-of-court proposal,” said Bruce Ullery, MC Sports president and chief executive officer, in a prepared statement.

The only alternative to address the company’s immediate liquidity issues is to begin liquidation sales at all stores while expediting its pursuit of alternative financing and going-concern sale options under Chapter 11 protections, he said.

MC Sports has retained the independent advisory firm, Stout Risius Ross Advisors, LLC.

A company news release said that as is the case with many retailers in the sporting goods industry, MC Sports has faced increased competition, the blurring of distribution channels by key athletic and outdoor brands, increasing direct-to-consumer sales by key vendors and the market disruption and growth of ecommerce.

“In response to these headwinds, the company has been systematically moving to larger format stores that combine hunting, fishing and outdoor categories with traditional sports gear, footwear and apparel,” the release read. “In addition, it has worked diligently to shed poor performing locations as lease opportunities became available.”

The company believes the decisions to file and begin liquidation sales are necessary to address the company’s immediate liquidity issue. The filing will allow MC Sports to address a number of legacy costs, including long-term leases that no longer are in line with current market conditions.

The filing also will allow the trade debt that has hampered the company’s ability to develop “a clear path forward.”

MC Sports was founded in 1946 in Grand Rapids, with MC standing for My Community. The company operates 68 locations in Michigan, Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, Missouri, Ohio and Wisconsin. The locations include an onsite site ski shop at Cannonsburg Ski Area in downstate Belmont.

Christie Bleck can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 250. Her email address is cbleck@miningjournal.net.